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Feb 03

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A New Pot and A Batch of Stout- Batch 36

My wife got me the best birthday present ever.  She got me a 15 gallon brew pot.

Brett and the Brewpot

Brett and the Brewpot

This thing is so stinking big I can stick both my boys in it and have room for veggies!  (Note:  I am NOT endorsing cannibalism!  I’ll leave that to the British Navy. 😉  )

Boys and the Brewpot

Boys and the Brewpot

Boys in the Brewpot

Boys in the Brewpot

So, what do you need to do to when you have a new brewpot?  Make beer.  DUH!

Not knowing what to make and desiring a nice, drinkable winter type beer, I decided to do a double batch of my Lucky Stout.

Stout Ingredients

Stout Ingredients

So, on Saturday January 30th, after my shopping trip to Steinbarts and assembling the nozzle and thermometer on my bucket, I got started making beer.

Empty holes in brewpot

Empty holes in brewpot

Brew Pot Nozzle and Thermometer installed

Brew Pot Nozzle and Thermometer installed

So, here’s the funny part.  I’m making 10 gallons of beer, right?  I added the water to mash the grains, and the water level didn’t even come close to the thermometer level.  Even when I accidentally added too much at first there wasn’t enough to reach the thermometer.

Water in the Brewpot

Water in the Brewpot

I had to resort to using my old fashioned thermometer.  The thing that really struck me about this pot was how much space it took up on my stove.

Pot on the Stove

Pot on the Stove

I used two burners (front and back) to heat the pot.  Mashed the grains for 45 minutes at 145 degrees, then sparged them.

Mashing Grains

Mashing Grains

Sparging

Sparging

Once I had my wort I began the boil and added my light malt extract and my hops.

Light Malt Extract into Pot

Light Malt Extract into Pot

The liquid light malt extract was added after 45 minutes, along with the flavor hops and the Irish Moss.

Irish Moss

Irish Moss

The Final Boil

The Final Boil

Notice the hops bag in the wort?  Saves so much hassle trying to filter out all the hop pellets.

So, while all this was going on, I decided it was high time I put measurement marks on my bottling bucket.  I also use this for fermentation as well when I’m in a pinch.

Fermenter Measurement Marks

Fermenter Measurement Marks

A Disaster Waiting to Happen

A Disaster Waiting to Happen

So, once done I evenly divided the wort up between two fermenters and topped them off to the 5 gallon mark.  On Sunday I pitched the yeast.  My initial gravity came out to 1.043 (after some calculations and fixing a mistake I made- I forgot the 12oz of cane sugar to the wort, so I added 6 oz to each fermenter once fermentation kicked in and calculated the difference it will make.)

So, Lord willing, I will bottle this over the weekend and have a buttload of beer.  I can’t wait to try an all grain recipe to give this thing a proper workout!

Fermenter 1

Fermenter 1

Fermenter 2

Fermenter 2

Any recipe ideas, send them my way!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.brettgorley.com/blog/?p=514

5 comments

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  1. chemical craig

    Dude you need to make a starter and save yourself $8 a batch. Also get yourself a cheap cooler, and forget about the extract. You can make awesome standard american ales using only extract, but for things like belgians and IIPA’s you need the control over the amount of fermentables in the wort that all-grain gives you.
    cheers,
    craig

  2. berencamlost

    Someday I’ll go that route. I’ve been wanting to get a better setup for all grain, and the cooler options seems like the cheapest. I’ll eventually experiment with yeast starters, too, but until I get more time I’ll just pay out the extra.
    Someday, though…

  3. chemicalcraig

    I hear ya. It took me a long time before I made starters. For less than $10 you can save having to set things up a day in advance. On the other hand I get satisfaction and peace of mind knowing that I’ve grown up a healthy yeast population that will ferment the heck out of my beer.
    Definitely get a cooler for all grain. I got a cheap one, a coleman extreme I think, and put in a stainless braid and it works great. It’s really not that much harder than extract brewing, just more time consuming. With a 90 min. mash my brew day from firing up the burner to finishing clean up is 6 hrs.
    How do the hop bags work for you? I usually use whole hops, but brewed a belgian IPA last weekend with pellet hops and all the sludge clogged either my screen or my ball valve and runoff into the fermenter was a beast.
    cheers

  4. berencamlost

    Well, I love the hops bag because I have TONS of hop pellets that I got for free, so it helps keep the sludge out. I usually filter the wort with a strainer as well to get the hop pellets out.
    I have two coolers, so I’ll look at what it takes to convert one. Problem I have is time and storage, so we’ll see.
    Thanks for the comments!

  5. Tracy

    You can’t convert one of our coolers. We use those for camping.

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